RECENT POLICY PAPERS

(Note that the full list of my publications is in my CV. This page lists only recent policy work.)

Gender Inequality in Indonesia (with D. Contreras-Suarez and B. Rowell). A Report prepared in collaboration with the Australian-Indonesian Partnership for Economic Governance and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Oct, 2015.

This report presents a review of existing papers on the state of gender inequality in Indonesia. It also includes results of quantitative research on gender disparities in Indonesia which identifies the drivers of female labour force participation and gender wage gaps and tracks their progress over time.


Social Protection for Women in Developing Countries. IZA World of Labour, May 2014.

Women are more likely than men to work in the informal sector and to drop out of the labor force for a time, such as after childbirth, and to be impeded by social norms from working in the formal sector. This work pattern undermines productivity, increases women's vulnerability to income shocks, and impairs their ability to save for old age. Many developing countries have introduced social protection programs to protect poor people from social and economic risks, but despite women's often greater need, the programs are generally less accessible to them than to men.

Commentary Piece: IZA World of Labor Commentary, 9 Jan, 2017.

The Double Burden of Malnutrition in SE Asia and the Pacific: Priorities, Policies and Politics (with L. Haddad and I. Barnett). Health Policy and Planning 2014, Oct 15, 1-14.

Coming out of a report prepared in collaboration with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The double burden of malnutrition is defined by the co-existence of serious levels of under- and overnutrition. Nowhere have overweight rates risen as fast as in the regions of South East Asia and the Pacific. The regions are also burdened with high and often stagnant levels of undernutrition. For countries for which data are available, the regions contain nearly half of the individuals, world wide, suffering from a double burden of malnutrition. This article reviews the trends and their consequences and for nine countries in these two regions it reviews the drivers of the problem and attempts to manage it. The article concludes with an analysis of the political challenges and opportunities presented by the double burden and some suggestions for a leadership agenda within the region to address it.


China's One Child Policy (with X. Meng). New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Online Edition, 2014. Palgrave Macmillan, UK. 

Between 1979 and late 2013, China's One Child Policy restricted urban couples to having only one child. In this article we review the evidence on the policy's impact on population growth, as well as its largely unforeseen impacts on population aging, gender inequality, behaviour and values, and the economy. As a result of the policy, China's population is not only smaller than it would have been, but also aging rapidly. The burden of looking after elderly parents and grandparents now often falls on a single child. The policy, coupled with a strong cultural preference for sons and the availability of sex-selective abortion, has led to men significantly outnumbering women. Many men now find it difficult to find a wife. Women's scarcity has provided some benefits to women, for example, in terms of greater power within the household. The generation of only children produced by the policy has been shown to differ from previous generations, for example, being less pro-social and more risk-averse. Recent reforms to the policy allow urban couples in which at least one is an only child to now have two children. The article concludes with a discussion of the implications of this recent change.